SOG Kiku

8.0 score
[Editors rating (8.0)] = (TheGearHunt) score (8.0)/10

Editor rating: 8.0 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Editor’s Conclusion
Fans of knives crafted by Matsuda in Japan will appreciate the Kiku Matsuda Knife.

The blade design has won over a good number of admirers with its straight profile and satin finish. For strength, it is made from AUS-8 steel    A particular feature that gives this knife a unique grip is a handle, with a nice blended balance of heft and ergonomics.

The Japanese craftsmanship is focused with a blade spine of 1.375 of jimping which reaches 7 inches when the knife blade is extended. The entire design is all about giving a full secure grip and control. This is great for precise work, EDC, and heavy-duty tasks.

For some, the aesthetics may look arty along the lines of being a show knife, but looks can be deceiving. This knife is designed for taking on multiple tasks.

Here we take a closer look at the Kiku to bring out the pros for performance and quality and see if there are any slight cons you need to know about. This is a very impressive knife created by skilled designers.
Editor's Pros & Cons






WEIGHT: 4.20 ounces




Key Features

Snapshot specs and features

Blade Steel: TYPE AUS-8
Blade thickness: 0.16
Blade Length: 3.5 INCH
Handle: Linen Micarta
Weight: 4.20 ounces

The Blade
The Kiku Small is deceptively named because it is fairly large with a 3.5-inch blade made from AUS-8 steel and with a smooth satin finish. The grind is sophisticated and complex, with a hollow ground recurve, a convex tip and on the spine a flat ground wedge. For safety, the blade is locked by a liner lock and holds secure while doing intricate cutting or the usual EDC tasks.

The blade is razor sharp right out of the box and retains sharpness well. The steel quality might not match some other similar models, but it is durable enough, and stropping for sharpening this is easy enough. Though a full sharpening will involve working on a recurve grind and a compound grind. You will need lots of effort and focus but the result is worth it.

For design, the blade stands out due to its distinctive recurve resemblance to a harpoon silhouette

The Handle
The handle has the classic Kiku-styled features, a rough blasted micarta surface that ensures a confident grip, and a letterbox design fitted onto two stainless steel liners.

The thumb stud is in a great position, and the opening movement is flawless due to a very smooth pivot. Though not a flick-knife the détente is pretty close. A few users have suggested that when closed, the blade retention could be better.

The positive features of this knife are solid and only minor points give pause for thought. When retrieving the knife from your pocket, it can be tricky because of the combination of the excessive tension and rough material of the handle under the clip. The solution is easy enough, remove the clip and bend it to reduce the tension level.

Feedback from users mentions that the liner lock can at times become sticky. There are a bunch of different things you can do if you have the same issue.

The SOG grind is good, deployment is swift, and cutting power is impressive for a knife of this size. The design is unique and impressive. The unique handle design ensures a great grip for tinder making and whittling, as well as other bushcraft tasks.


There are other options on the market that you can consider and when factoring in the purpose of design there are a few comparable knives.

The Gerber Paraframe Mini offers a much smaller size than the Kiku and it's lightweight. It has a simple frame lock system a small size and a budget price. This is really a minimalist knife design.

Another option from SOG is the Centi II, which is very light and slips easily into a pocket. This is a mini knife with decent capability but perhaps not up to the tasks which the Kiku can perform. But, for those looking for a knife that can literally be carried on a key ring, this is a great option. Very much a budget option.

For those looking for a crafted blade that compares well with SOG blades, the Eafengrow EF936 Pocket Knife is closely comparable in terms of performance. This offers a higher grade of D2 steel and is an ideal EDC knife.

If you want a bigger blade, more weight, and really more of everything, then Spyderco's Para 3 is certainly worth considering. This is not a budget knife and it compares favorably against the SOG Kiku.


This is a knife that has its own unique classic design and overall is clearly well crafted.

For everyday tasks, it's absolutely up to the job and probably capable of more. Sharpness is impressive but keep in mind that re-sharpening will require some effort but it is worthwhile. For ease of use think about flicking a coin while hitting the thumb button, the blade is very fast to deploy and really smooth.

So much design work has been put into this knife to ensure it is easy to use for precise tasks, as well as heavy-duty chores. The Micarta handle really does offer a secure grip and the 3.5 inch blade is a short blade which can perform big.

Available at a comfortable price, the KIKU is certainly a very good option for those looking for a unique blade and handle design, great cutting power, ease of use, and reliability.